10,611 results for ResearchCommons@Waikato

  • Technology Education for the Future: A Play on Sustainability.

    Conference item
    University of Waikato

    We are very pleased to welcome Technology Education scholars from around the world to New Zealand for PATT 27. We are delighted to have the PATT conference in the Southern Hemisphere for only the second time in its history. This conference, and these proceedings, continue the almost 30 year old tradition of sharing research and ideas in a collegial and inclusive setting. While the conference theme provides a particular focus on considering the future and sustainability through Technology Education, the proceedings also include a broad range of papers which focus on key areas of importance in primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. We believe the conference and these proceedings will make a valuable, interesting and significant contribution to the discourses of Technology Education through the introduction of new ideas, the confirmation or critique of assumptions, and the exploration of experiences. This moves our profession forward to rest on a more secure research base and to mature through analysis, interrogation and communication. We appreciate your willingness to come to Christchurch despite the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. We hope that you enjoy the city as it starts to rebuild its future. Your presence here is a small contribution to the rebuild so thank you from the shaken and determined citizens of Christchurch.

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  • Surrogate modeling a computational fluid dynamics-based wind turbine wake simulation using machine learning

    Wilson, Brett; Wakes, Sarah; Mayo, Michael (2017)

    Conference item
    University of Waikato

    The Wind Farm Layout Optimization problem involves finding the optimal positions for wind turbines on a wind farm site. Current Metahueristic based methods make use of a combination of turbine specifications and parameters, mathematical models and empirically produced power production equations to estimate the energy output of a real wind farm [15]. The overarching variable in any optimisation function is wind speed - this is what used to determine the power generated. Therefore, accurate predictions of wind speeds at specific points across the volume of the site are needed. In this paper, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to simulate a full scale rotating wind turbine blade with fluid (air) at various wind speeds flowing past the turbine. The wake effect can be observed and leads to decrease in wind speeds, as expected. Wind speed at specific x,y and z (3D) coordinates were sampled and used as input to common Machine Learning regression algorithms to create different surrogate models. This was needed as each individual CFD experiment takes approximately 8 hours to complete, so it is not feasible to continuously repeat these simulations inside a metaheuristic optimiser.

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  • A matter of habit? Early life stress and cognitive flexibility in infants

    Taylor, Catherine (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The long-term associations between chronic early life stress such as maltreatment, and cognitive functioning are well documented. However, less is known about the relation between early life stress exposure through experiences of more common potentially stressful life events such as parental separation or moving to a new house, and specific aspects of cognitive functioning in the short term. Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to shift between response strategies and employ alternative strategies. It is an important ability for successful adaption to changing or novel situations. Previous research has shown that under acute stress, 15-month-old infants display elevated levels of rigid behaviour, being less likely to disengage from performing a habitual action that is no longer effective than their non-stressed counterparts. The present study explores the relation between experiences of potentially stressful early life events and infants’ tendency to display this pattern of behaviour that is, cognitive flexibility. Thirty-one 14- to 16-month-old infants participated in an instrumental learning task in their own homes. The task involved the infants initially learning to push two buttons. Each button lit up and produced its own distinct sound when pushed. Next, to establish a habit of button pushing (habit-acquisition), infants were allowed to push one of the buttons until they did not push the button for a period of time (10-s). Finally, at test, infants were given access to both buttons. Pushing the buttons did not result in any light or sound effects. Infants’ behaviour during test was assessed. Increased engagement with the habituated button relative to engagement with both buttons was taken as a measure of reduced cognitive flexibility. Participants’ caregivers indicated the number and severity of any potentially stressful life events that had occurred for the family during the prenatal and postnatal period. Analyses revealed no significant associations between frequency or severity of stressful life events – experienced during the prenatal or postnatal period – and rigid habitual behaviour in infants. This suggests that potentially stressful early life events do not necessarily lead to higher levels of rigid behaviour in infants. Possible explanations of the present findings are discussed.

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  • Experiences of women returning to work after maternity leave

    Sriram, Divya (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    With an increase in the number of women in the workforce, numerous studies have looked at the importance of parental leave and benefits of cash, predictors of postpartum depression, and how they affect women, handling work-family conflict, family friendly policies and many more. Of particular interest for many working women is research looking at working mothers and the issues that have an impact on mothers. Longer duration of leave has been shown to have numerous physical and mental health benefits for the mother and the child, such as mother-infant attachment. Similarly, workplace support and work-life balance were found beneficial for working mothers. This study investigates factors such as work-life balance, social support, length of maternity leave and mental health. It explores both the positive and negative impacts these factors have on mothers and their babies once mothers return to work. The study used a qualitative methodology, interviewing 11 working mothers. The participants had returned to work within the last three years, some as recent as four weeks, at the time of the interview. Participants had at least one child under the age of four. The sample of working mothers included most of the mothers working full-time, some working part-time and one mother working as self-employed. Template analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. Analysis revealed that working mothers returned to work for myriad reasons after having been on government aided maternity leave. Work-life balance policies like reduced hours and returning part-time initially for some mothers were found along with an understanding supervisor and supportive colleagues. In conclusion, working mothers desired longer leave citing their need to bond with the baby as one of the reason. Mothers had satisfactory support from family, friends and workplace. In addition to the government mandated parental leave policies, working mothers found a lack of information on any additional policies offered by their organizations and preferred more communication on them.

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  • The use of learning technologies to facilitate engagement in an online course

    Gedera, Dilani S.P.; Williams, P. John (2013)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    E-learning is becoming increasingly popular in many countries for its flexibility in terms of time, place and pace. Research affirms that learning technologies support interaction and collaboration among learners and improve learning outcomes. However, current practices of e-learning are not without constraints and there is a need for empirical research to assist practitioners in determining the best uses of learning technologies. This paper seeks to develop an understanding of students’ experiences and their perspectives of learning with the educational technologies of ‘Adobe virtual classroom’ and ‘Moodle’ that facilitated activities in a university course. The study was conducted using a case study method over a period of one semester. With Activity Theory as its research framework, the research methods of this study include individual interviews, online observation and document analysis. This paper includes some of the initial findings of the research and a brief discussion on how the educational technologies facilitated students’ engagement in this course. This may inform practitioners of the pragmatic constraints and affordances of existing technologies, learning activities and strategies used in online learning environments.

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  • Using Activity Theory to understand contradictions in an online university course facilitated by Moodle

    Gedera, Dilani S.P.; Williams, P. John (2013)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Activity Theory can offer insights into learning processes that are facilitated by Learning Management Systems. Contradictions, as a basic principle of Activity Theory, assist in identifying the tensions and conflicts that emerge in systems of online learning environments. Using Activity Theory as its research framework, this study focuses on the contradictions that emerged in the form of tensions, frustrations, misunderstandings and miscommunication in a fully online university course in New Zealand. The data collection methods of this case study included individual interviews, online activity observation and documents analysis. Outlining some of the findings of the study, this paper will discuss how students’ participation in learning activities facilitated by Moodle was affected by these contradictions.

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  • Using focused ethnography to understand brokering practices among international students

    Lee, Sherrie (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    The academic challenges of international students, particularly those with English as an additional language (EAL), have been mostly researched in the context of the formal curriculum (e.g. classroom communication styles, reading and writing skills). These challenges include inadequate English proficiency and differing educational expectations, and being isolated from the host community. However, little is understood about students’ informal academic learning outside the prescribed curriculum, in particular, their brokering practices. Brokering practices are help-seeking interactions that bridge gaps in the seekers’ knowledge and understanding of new cultural practices thus enabling them to access resources they would find difficult to do so on their own. For EAL students, these help-seeking interactions may involve getting others to translate, interpret or explain particular aspects of the host academic environment. In this research, focused ethnography is used to investigate the nature of brokering practices among ten international EAL tertiary students during their initial academic semester of fifteen weeks. Focused ethnography specifically addresses constraints in the research context (e.g. time and access to informants), as well as capitalizes on technological tools such as digital recording devices. In seeking to understand brokering interactions and relationships students have with their brokers, conventional ethnographic methods were adapted, for example, digital ethnographic methods were used instead of participant observation. Digital ethnographic methods allows a large amount of data to be recorded and reviewed, a feature of focused ethnography known as data intensity. While this form of intensity has been argued to compensate for a short period of research activity, this research suggests that another form of intensity – relational intensity – is just as important in addressing research constraints. Relational intensity refers to the researcher’s ongoing responsiveness to the needs of research participants. The article concludes that future focused ethnographic research should consider both data-related and relational forms of intensity in addressing research constraints.

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  • Three Aspects of Wang Tuoh - A Contemporary Taiwanese Intellectual

    Morrison, John Brendon (2004)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis presents English translations of three pieces of work by the Taiwanese intellectual Wang Tuoh. Wang Tuoh’s works range from short stories and novels to literary criticism, moral essays and newspaper opinion pieces. The exact form of his writings varied according to the political conditions in Taiwan at the time he wrote them. The first piece is Wang’s novella Auntie Jinshui, considered the centrepiece of Wang’s Badouzi series of stories. Wang’s writing was associated with the Nativist school of writers, which was to form part of the first organised cultural opposition to the rule of the authoritarian KMT in Taiwan. The second piece is Wang’s essay “It’s ‘Literature of the Present Reality’, not ‘Nativist’ Literature”, which was written in response to criticism of Nativist writers by KMT supporters. In this essay Wang supplies an important definition of the Nativist school, and broadens the scope of Nativism from being merely of the countryside, to including all of Taiwan’s ‘Present Reality’. The third piece is Wang’s moral essay “Finding the Basis of Success out of the Experience of Failure” which sums up much of Wang’s personal philosophy. In the essay part of the thesis, a description is given of the historical background that lead to the complex society of 1970s Taiwan when Wang began writing. Taiwan’s history as a geographic crossroads between the interests of China, Japan and the West means that Taiwan society, and its intellectuals, can call upon a socio-cultural heritage that draws upon Chinese, Japanese and Western influences in addition to the local Taiwanese culture. Wang’s works are analysed within a conceptual framework that shows how these multiple influences interact within Taiwan’s social, cultural and intellectual worlds. Wang’s roles as writer, literary critic, and moral essayist are all simply aspects of his larger role as an intellectual in Taiwan. In exploring Wang’s biography and relating it to larger historical events, it can be shown that Wang’s writings and his role as an intellectual changed in response to the changing degree of political freedom in Taiwan. The thesis concludes that Wang has consistently regarded his primary role as being an intellectual commentator, and that he has consistently called upon his countrymen to reflect upon the importance of social justice and democracy in Taiwan.

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  • The Environmental Justice Implications of the Planning Policy and Practice of Flood Risk Management in New Zealand

    Martynoga, Charlotte (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Following an international trend, the flood defence approach historically applied in New Zealand has been superseded by a shift to flood risk management, an approach that aligns with the notion of ‘living with risk’ and devolves responsibility to risk-takers at the local level. Citizens are required to assume responsibility for assessing and minimising their own exposure, increasing their resilience and adapting to periodic flooding events. Inevitably, specific communities respond differently to flooding as their capabilities to understand, identify and manage flood risk varies. Environmental justice is the framework of inquiry within which issues of power, representation and participation in planning for flood risk management are examined to consider the injustices that are experienced by communities ‘living with risk’. Quantitative and qualitative methods are used to investigate the extent planning is complicit in delivering flood risk management processes that can create environmentally unjust outcomes. Flood hazard maps overlaid with contextual demographic data identify who is living in at risk spaces in three case-study communities. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews with local government representatives and iwi, and a questionnaire to local residents was followed by interviews. The analysis demonstrates how the environmental justice components of distributive justice, procedural justice, justice as recognition and a capabilities approach to justice are tied together in the political and social processes of managing floods. Procedural justice is based on participatory parity so ensuring all members of the affected community are treated fairly in the deliberative and discursive decision-making is essential. Evidence revealed a community’s limited access to extensive flood risk information, unequal power sharing in decision-making and community participation, and restricted ability for disadvantaged groups to access legal processes. Distributive justice demands the use of multi-criteria analysis, rather than cost-benefit analysis, in prioritising and directing flood risk management to vulnerable communities. Using direct benefit rating to fund flood mitigation works heightens existing inequalities within communities and demands consideration of social difference in flood risk vulnerabilities. To ensure justice as recognition, local and indigenous knowledge needs to be valued and included in decision-making processes. Whilst working party arrangements are not inclusive they empower communities to be actively involved, promote trust and ownership of their local place and flood risk project. Recognition of identities and cultural practices is crucial for self-determination and minimises the marginalisation of voices. Planners need to examine social aspects of how people perceive, adapt and cope with flood risk, alongside place-based vulnerability. Policy, in embracing a capabilities approach to justice, would focus on the functionings people actually achieve rather than the opportunities. This calls for removing aggregations to look at the capabilities of individuals and communities to manage and respond to their flood risk. Judgements on planning initiatives need to be based on whether distributional outcomes enhance the capabilities of the relatively disadvantaged, thereby improving the resilience capacity of a community to manage flood risk. This study bridges a research gap in drawing together flood risk management, planning and environmental justice; advancing understanding of the environmental injustices within flood risk management in New Zealand.

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  • Scoping the meaning of 'critical' in mathematical thinking for Initial Teacher Education

    Furness, Jane Amanda; Cowie, Bronwen; Cooper, Beverley (2015)

    Conference item
    University of Waikato

    Current strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy in New Zealand educational policy, as elsewhere, reverberates in different ways in institutions charged with children's and adults' learning. A common response is to locate literacy and numeracy centrally in programmes aimed at preparing children for and enhancing adult participation in 21st century life and work. One place these agendas overlap is in preservice teacher education or Initial Teacher Education (ITE). Preservice teachers enter their ITE programmes as adult learners engaged in building literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills for teaching across the curriculum, working with student achievement data and administration, aspects of which may also be useful in their wider lives. These tasks also involve making judgements which require critical thinking, another key policy focus in New Zealand and internationally for children's and adults' learning. As part of a project in which a group of researchers are exploring mathematical thinking and reasoning in initial teacher education (MARKITE) the researchers included critical awareness as one of three dimensions in their definition of mathematical thinking. As the project has progressed our interest in the notion of criticality in mathematics education and its implications for mathematical thinking in the context of the needs of 2 1st century citizens has grown. We have set out in this paper to illuminate what 'critical' in mathematical thinking could mean and what we mean by it in our project. Our aim in this reflective undertaking is to shed light on options and elaborate why we believe developing criticality is important in initial teacher education. The primary mode of inquiry was a literature search, covering critical theory and critical literacy, critical mathematics and various definitions of mathematics education (critical numeracy, data literacy and quantitative literacy). Next we reviewed current thinking on the context in which ITE takes place, in particular the needs of democratic citizens in the 2 1st century. Ideas gleaned from these documents have been analysed against the Key Competencies Framework and other policy and implementation documents to consider how what is suggested as important in the Mathematics and Statistics learning area (MOE, 2007) provides grounds for the development of criticality in the identification and use of mathematical thinking across an ITE programme. In this examination we were cognisant of the increasing demand for (quantitative) data use in schools. Our investigations are drawing us towards conclusions that favour quite classic critical theory applications (Freire, 1974), which we see also reflected in current works which explore the link between mathematics and the globally experienced social and environmental conditions of the present and the future (e.g. Atweh & Brady, 2009; Greer & Skovsmose, 2012). Mathematics is deeply involved in framing understanding and solving social, economical and environmental problems. To date we have found very little literature that focuses on the nature of and how to develop student teachers' mathematical thinking beyond a focus on curriculum mathematics. In the National Standards, we find the stem for criteria include a focus on context and problem solving. This creates the potential for critical engagement with the mathematical ideas embedded in real world problems and solutions. However the exemplifications of the standards do not encompass pressing social issues. This work brings together current thinking about criticality and critical mathematics/mathematics education in a first attempt to put forward a useful understanding of critical mathematical thinking for ITE. It also brings to the attention of educators the role of mathematics in critical democratic citizenship, alongside the more commonplace focus on critical literacy. The kinds of critical mathematical thinking we have become more specifically interested in are those that enable the inclusion of different culturally based world views am actions, equitable participation and outcomes, and so, justice for all citizens. We propose that the develop in preservice teachers of capacity for critical mathematical thinking is a crucial component of ITE, especially in these times of significant global change which mathematics plays a central yet often hidden re-Critical mathematical thinking holds the potential to facilitate teachers to work actively in pursuit of an inclusive, socially just world.

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  • The effect of eccentric cycle training on physiological and performance parameters in cycling.

    Dillon, Piers, Callum (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Prior research has demonstrated the benefits of 3 to 8 weeks of eccentric cycle training in athletes, the elderly, and in suffers of various pathophysiological conditions. Eccentric cycling requires participants to absorb force generated by an electric motor that drives a traditional cycle crank in a reverse fashion. Relative to traditional concentric cycle training, eccentric cycling is lower in metabolic cost and facilitates greater force production through multi-joint leg actions. Chapter 2 reports on an investigation that utilises an eccentric cycling ergometer to evaluate and observe the influence of eccentric cycle training on a range of key performance parameters, and physiological measures on a well-trained cycling population. Specifically, in this novel study we assessed the physiological performance measures of leg spring stiffness, 4 s mean maximal sprint power, 4-km time-trial performance, and economy prior to, during, and following periodised eccentric cycle training. The investigation recruited eight healthy well-trained male participants (mean ± SD; age: 33 ± 12 yr; mass: 80 ± 11 kg; VO₂peak: 64 ± 8 ml.kg⁻¹.min⁻¹) to take part in a 6 week, 12 session eccentric cycling study. Utilising a commercially available eccentric ergometer (Cyclus2, Leipzig, Germany), the participants replaced two hours of their weekly cycle training, with eccentric cycling. Initial training loads were prescribed based on 25% of participant 4 s mean maximal sprint power (MM4SP). Stepwise increases of training load occurred every 3ʳᵈ training session. Assessments of submaximal hopping to evaluate leg spring stiffness, 4 s mean maximal sprint power and 4-km time-trial performance were conducted, prior-to, during the 3ʳᵈ week (Mid), and 1 and 4 weeks following the eccentric cycling intervention. Over a 6 week period, this stepwise approach led to an increase in workload from 25% to 50% of participant MM4SP. Overall participants achieved 97 ± 4% of their individual prescribed training load during the 6 week eccentric cycling training intervention. Relative to baseline measures, muscle stiffness effects were very likely positive (35.8 ± 30.4%) at week 3 (Mid), and at 1 week post (57.7 ± 22.3 and 46.6 ± 26.0%) week 4 post intervention. Effects for 4 s mean maximal sprint power were likely beneficial at 60 rpm at week 11 relative to both baseline, and week 7. Similarly, likely beneficial effects were reported at 120 (week 7 – pre), and 135 rpm (week 11 – pre). 4-km time-trial performance, at Mid (mean ± SD %: 0.2 ± 2.8%), and 1 week (0.7 ± 2.3%) post-training produced unclear alterations, while likely beneficial improvements were seen at week 4 (2.3 ± 3.6%) post-training. The findings of the current study suggest that 12 sessions of eccentric training over a 6 week period improved 4-km time-trial performance, and muscle stiffness within a well-trained population. Outcomes for the remaining endurance and sprint performance related measures however predominantly resulted as unaltered or unclear over the participant population

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  • A Transnational Analysis of Elderly European Wealth Distributions: Developing and Testing New Methodologies within the new Household Financial and Consumption Survey

    Gaylard, David Michael (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Transnational wealth inequality is an expanding field of study. However, the field has many limitations especially relating to problems of data availability, methodologies used, and the very limited pool of existing transnational literature. Alongside these basic limitations is a predominating focus on populations as a whole that correspond with a dearth of studies concerned specifically with elderly wealth distributions. This thesis’ objective is to tackle these three problematic areas in the field, but with a specific focus on the elderly. In particular, new methodologies for analysing transnational distributions of wealth are explored and developed. These new methodologies are then tested within the Household Financial and Consumption Survey environment specifically focusing on the elderly population. This new survey provides an extensive high quality database on household financial characteristics that are pivotal to transnational and sub-cohort focused analysis. The analysis generates several results. The first is a tested framework of a multifaceted approach for describing wealth distributions. This approach counters the widespread habit of using summary statistics which do not fully describe distributions. The results also provide evidence for two distinct macro distributions of wealth within the countries observed. These distributions represent two ends on a spectrum which contains all the possible wealth distribution shapes. The combination of developing new methodological tools of analysis and testing them within a new data environment contribute significantly to the field. These new tools will allow for a standardised view providing deep level analysis which is still applicable to a large dataset.

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  • Hypoxic resistance training in elite Rugby Union athletes

    Mayo, Brad

    Thesis
    University of Waikato

    Limited research suggests that muscle adaptations may be enhanced through resistance training in a hypoxic environment. Altitude training has been integrated into athlete preparation strategies for the past five decades by elite athletes, with the goal of improving performance. Simulated altitude modalities allow athletes the ability to live low (sea level) and train high (completing training sessions at altitude) to enable, intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE) training paradigm to optimize adaptation and performance. The first part of this thesis reviews the literature on different methods of hypoxic training and how this may be implemented into the sport of Rugby Union. Part two of the thesis includes an original investigation whereby 17 professional Rugby Union athletes (age [mean ± SD], 24 ± 3 years; body mass, 98.7 ± 12.8 kg, height; 188.9 ± 7.9 cm), performed 12 resistance training sessions over a three-week period. Participants were randomly divided into two groups: HYP (n=8) where resistance training sessions were performed in an environmental chamber with O₂ concentration maintained at ~14.4% (~3000m simulated altitude), or CON (n=9) identical resistance training sessions were performed without the simulated altitude (O₂ = 20.9%, at sea level). The research assessed pre and post-test measures of strength, power, endurance, speed and body composition. Analysis revealed a small positive effect for bench press (d = 0.24), weighted chin-up (d = 0.23) and bronco endurance tests (d = -0.21) in the HYP group when compared to the CON. In conclusion, resistance training in a hypoxic environmental chamber may lead to small improvements in upper body strength and endurance compared to the same training performed at sea-level. These findings are somewhat novel, given the short timeframe of the study and the elite population sampled. This study adds new practical information for athletes, coaches and practitioners on the effects of resistance training in a hypoxic environment on strength trained, professional team sport athletes.

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  • Experiences from the past inform the journey ahead: ‘a way of being’ - culturally responsive and relational professional learning and development.

    Murray, Tracy Olive

    Thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis begins by contextualising the current reality for many Māori learners in Aotearoa New Zealand. By reviewing the literature around the role of the provider in professional learning and development (PLD) in Aotearoa New Zealand, this thesis seeks to explain a new way of working that has not been well documented before.  Provided is the rationale for the methodology undertaken in the research to ensure the relationship with the participants remained at the heart of the process. This thesis contends that applying culturally responsive and relational pedagogy across all levels of schooling is a unique way of being that requires deep critical self-reflection and conscious ongoing change in practice. Learning what to stop doing and what to do differently is part of an ongoing cycle of inquiry that educational leaders at any level must engage in, to implement change in schools for Māori learners.

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  • Iranian New Zealander men’s perception of domestic violence

    Ghaleiha, Amin (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Domestic violence is a significant social issue in both Iran and New Zealand. Ethnic migrants have a high risk of experiencing domestic violence and have distinct needs compared to the local population. The purpose of this study was to explore domestic violence in the context of migration, through Iranian migrant men’s perceptions. The participants were recruited through social media or by word of mouth through other participants. The research aimed to obtain a deep understanding of factors and experiences that shaped Iranian migrant men’s views on domestic abuse. Seven semi-structured phone and face to face interviews were conducted in both Persian and English when appropriate. The key findings indicated that men were aware of the detrimental effects and the multifaceted nature of domestic violence. However, they showed more tolerance toward non-physical forms of domestic abuse than physical. It was found that Iranian family hierarchy, parenting, and the religious and cultural customs of migrants had a major influence on men’s understanding of domestic violence. Cultural relativism was used to justify domestic violence to some extent. The men argued that migration had altered some of their beliefs and views on gender roles and violence against women in a significant way. Domestic violence was perceived to be a more severe problem in Iran than New Zealand. This study offers recommendations for policy, practice and prevention strategies regarding domestic violence in an Iranian migrant context.

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  • Intersections between place-responsive outdoor education and environmental action: Transforming secondary students' ethic of care into action.

    Martindale, Joanne (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    There has been growing concern expressed about the disconnection of people, and particularly young people, from nature. This detachment from the natural world is visible through media and movies with an increased reference to the urban, human-made environment since the 1950’s. Additionally, it is observable in our overuse of the Earth's resources and slow change to more sustainable behaviour. The cost of this disconnection from nature is on our physical and psychological well-being. It reduces appreciation and attachment to place. This study looks at connecting secondary students to their place through a place-responsive outdoor education journey and explores how the journey can influence their developing ethic of care for place. Place-responsive outdoor education is one way to potentially connect and ‘re-wild’ our school students to their place and nature. Through this, they may develop an ethic of care. There is then an assumption that by developing an ethic of care and responding to place, people will take action to look after or improve their place. However, little research has been conducted to date to show that there is a link between attachment to place and pro-environmental behaviour or taking action. The second part of this research explored how any potential ethic of care developed from the place-responsive outdoor education journey could be transformed into motivation for students to act for place, by adapting the place-responsive outdoor education journey to incorporate environmental advocacy sessions using Birdsall's (2010) model for learning about environmental action. This research uses a phenomenography approach to study the experiences of a group of secondary school students engaging in a place-responsive outdoor education journey and their responses to the journey. Twelve students came on the journey and six of these participated in the study. Data were gathered using photo-elicitation interviews based on photographs the students took during the place-responsive outdoor education journey. The students then attended a series of environmental advocacy sessions based on the journey to help them reflect and consider what response they might make to their experiences. A second interview was then held with each student after these sessions to explore their perceptions of an ethic of care leading to action. Data in the form of interview transcripts and observational notes were analysed and thematically organised. The first part of the study highlights the significance of a slow pedagogy to the place-responsive outdoor journey and the enjoyment by the students. Contextual factors like the weather had an impact on the students. The journey also emphasised the importance of community and social interaction for the students. At the end of the place-responsive outdoor education journey, the students expressed a sense of accomplishment and a deeper connection to the city, realising it was more than just shopping malls. The students indicated great enthusiasm and motivation to take action as the environmental advocacy sessions began. The students decided to use a voting system to decide on the final action to take, which lead to some students disengaging at this point as they may not have seen the relevance to them of the specific action chosen. For many of the students, other priorities and pressures made them feel too busy to have the time to take action. The findings indicate that students who have had repeat visits to place have a stronger connection to it and suggest this is a predictor of them continuing to taking action or display pro-environmental behaviour in response to their experiences.  

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  • To work or not to work: The effect of response requirement variation on signal detection performance in hens

    Tashkoff, Anna Kaliope (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The role of effort in an SDT paradigm has not been adequately investigated using only natural contingencies, where hits are the only reinforced responses. Fixed-ratio (FR) requirement as a measure of effort was systematically varied in a go/no-go signal detection task. Hens were trained to discriminate between a brighter keylight (S+) and a dimmer keylight (S-), where a fixed-ratio response requirement was in effect on S+ trials (i.e., for a “go” response) and a secondary, ‘advance’ key progressed to the next trial at any point following an observation response (i.e., a “no-go” response). A negative, linear relationship was discovered between FR requirement and hit rate. Although FR requirement variation was not found to significantly influence specificity performance, a graphical trend was observed such that, as FR increased, specificity generally increased before levelling off at a FR 16 response requirement. Comparisons between original and reinstated conditions suggest that performance was not affected by an order or practice effect. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed, and considerations for future research are identified, such as generalisation of these findings across species and differing types of ‘effort’.

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  • Global patterns of insect herbivory in gap and understorey environments, and their implications for woody plant carbon storage

    Piper, Frida I.; Altmann, Scott H.; Lusk, Christopher H. (2018)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Insect herbivory is thought to favour carbon allocation to storage in juveniles of shade-tolerant trees. This argument assumes that insect herbivory in the understorey is sufficiently intense as to select for storage; however, understoreys might be less attractive to insect herbivores than canopy gaps, because of low resource availability and - at temperate latitudes - low temperatures. Although empirical studies show that shade-tolerant species in tropical forests do allocate more photosynthate to storage than their light-demanding associates, the same pattern has not been consistently observed in temperate forests. Does this reflect a latitudinal trend in the relative activity of insect herbivory in gap versus understorey environments? To date there has been no global review of the effect of light environment on insect herbivory in forests. We postulated that if temperature is the primary factor limiting insect herbivory, the effect of gaps on rates of insect herbivory should be more evident in temperate than in tropical forests; due to low growing season temperatures in the oceanic temperate forests of the Southern Hemisphere, the effect of gaps on insect herbivory rates should in turn be stronger there than in the more continental temperate climates of the Northern Hemisphere. We examined global patterns of insect herbivory in gaps versus understories through meta-analysis of 87 conspecific comparisons of leaf damage in contrasting light environments. Overall, insect herbivory in gaps was significantly higher than in the understorey; insect herbivory was 50% higher in gaps than in understoreys of tropical forests but did not differ significantly between gaps and understories in temperate forests of either hemisphere. Results are consistent with the idea that low resource availability - and not temperature - limits insect herbivore activity in forest understoreys, especially in the tropics, and suggest the selective influence of insect herbivory on late-successional tree species may have been over-estimated.

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  • Te Mata Ira—Faces of the Gene: Developing a cultural foundation for biobanking and genomic research involving Māori

    Hudson, Maui; Russell, Khyla; Uerata, Lynley; Milne, Moe; Wilcox, Phillip; Port, Ramari Viola; Smith, Barry; Toki, Valmaine; Beaton, Angela (2016)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Te Mata Ira was a three-year research project (2012–2015) that explored Māori views on genomic research and biobanking for the development of culturally appropriate guidelines. A key component of this process has been to identify Māori concepts that provide cultural reference points for engaging with biobanking and genomic research. These cultural cues provide the basis for describing the cultural logic that underpins engagement in this context in a culturally acceptable manner. This paper outlines the role of two wānanga (workshops) conducted as part of the larger project that were used to make sense of the Māori concepts that emerged from other data-collection activities. The wānanga involved six experts who worked with the research team to make sense of the Māori concepts. The wānanga process created the logic behind the cultural foundation for biobanking and genomic research, providing a basis for understanding Māori concepts, Māori ethical principles and their application to biobanking and genomic research.

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  • A preliminary redating of the Holocene Roonka burials, south-eastern Australia

    Littleton, Judith; Petchey, Fiona; Walshe, Keryn; Pate, Fonald (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Roonka is one of the most complete excavations of an Aboriginal burial ground in south‐eastern Australia. The chronology of the site and the nature of its use have proven difficult to interpret. Previous dating and chronological interpretations of the site have emphasised a chronology of changing use and burial practices, but the nature of the site and the dates obtained do not clearly support these interpretations. We report on the direct dating of human bone from a further ten burials from the main excavation. In order to further investigate the cultural chronology set out by Pretty (1977), samples were selected to cover a range of burial types and preservation states. Comparison of these dates with the previous conventional dates and early AMS dates not only shows the impact of improving technology but demonstrates that multiple burial styles were in use contemporaneously. Moreover, the results suggest that use of the site may have been discontinuous. Consequently, interpretations that assume a chronological sequence for Roonka based on burial practice are not supported, while analyses based on a synchronic interpretation may ignore significant temporal change.

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